10 foot john boat - Is it stable enough for me?

Discussion in 'Boat Tips' started by photocat, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. photocat

    photocat New Member

    Messages:
    803
    State:
    HOCO, Maryland
    I have a line on a 10 foot jon boat, (sears if it makes a difference). i know i won't be taking it on any large rivers, but for smaller ones and lakes/resy's do you think it will be stable enough for me (240#'s plus gear, the limit on a similar model is 315#'s) to go fishing out of? my secondary use for it is photography and i really don't want to lose valuable equipment overboard if it flips or it swamps.
     
  2. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    A 10ft jon is really small, I would be afraid to take it on moving water, however I cant swim either.
     

  3. Swampy

    Swampy New Member

    Messages:
    818
    State:
    Fl.
    Yes that 10 foot will be ok for what you stated you would be using it for. I've been in a sears 10 foot J boat with a friend & gear and it worked just fine with 2 of us. I had a 10 foot lowes J boat once and never feared taking it any where. The sears J boats are not as strong as the Lowes but they will do just fine for what you need it for.
     
  4. photocat

    photocat New Member

    Messages:
    803
    State:
    HOCO, Maryland
    I've seen similar ones to the one the guy has... actually think i've seen the guy out there fishing before when i've been on shore after camp. I would love to get a 14 footer, problem is it won't fit in my truck's bed, and then if i go to get a trailer for it, then its an extra 500-700 out of my pocket that i don't have.

    I just need something that will get me safely to the spot and back and allow me to catch a fish of a decent size w/ out flipping the boat and losing my stuff (esp my photography equipment). not concerned w/ looking like im a in a bathtub or really any appearance issues, as long as its fishable out of...
     
  5. Itch2Scratch

    Itch2Scratch New Member

    Messages:
    1,662
    State:
    Ivy Bend on LOZ, Missouri
    I myself would not recommend a 10' John boat for any catfishing application. They are to shallow and narrow.
     
  6. birdnest

    birdnest New Member

    Messages:
    18
    I don't know what your budget will support but I use a 14' kayak by Ocean Kayak called the Ambush. It's really more of a canoe/kayak hybrid but it's designed for fishing and duck hunting. It's a little heavy at about 100#'s but it has an 800# payload capacity an is as stable as most j-boats. I am 6'2" at 220 but at one time I weighed almost 350 and still used this with no problem. The cockpit is about 3' side and 8 feet long. It's virtually unsinkable unless you manage to set it on fire. I throw it in the back of my P/U and go anywhere I want. I have dealt with some real morons that I'm sure were convinced that God only created that lake with their permission. Anyway, tipping over isn't in the picture. Falling out is a possibility but then, I know of guys that have fallen off aircraft carriers.
    The only fault I have with this baby is you are limited to paddling and/or a trolling motor. I use a 40# minkota and keep a back up battery so I can pretty much fish most of the day trolling but I can't go anywhere fast and I'd say my range is probably less than 10 miles. I got mine used for 500 bucks and I think they have new one's in Cabella's for ~seven or eight. You'd be amazed at the size of a fish you can land in one of these.
    I have also seen several other designs for small/stable craft that'll fit in the back of a truck or ultra small trailer. Some pretty cool ideas involving pontoons that do use a small gas motor more like a little skiff. Keep your options open and look around the web. Also, if at all possible, "try before you buy"!!
    Good luck and tight lines,
    Birdnest
     
  7. BullDaddy

    BullDaddy New Member

    Messages:
    905
    State:
    Bossier City, La.
    I am 6'1" and 275#, my buddy is 5'9" and 225. We use a 10' jon on a small local lake to get to some duck hunting areas. The two of us, two bags of decoys, guns and a cooler and we go all over the lake (we hunt from the bank, not the boat.) We have even had a third person in the boat but I would not recommend that.:rolleyes: That being said, if it is just you and equipment on still water then the 10 footer is fine for what you are doing as long as you use caution and there is little boat traffic. I would personally wait a little longer till I could buy a larger hull and trailer just to be on the safe side. Hope this helps, just my 2-cents worth.
     
  8. T-Bone

    T-Bone New Member

    Messages:
    1,125
    State:
    South of Dallas
    Bryan, IMO, what you are looking into buying, will be fine for awhile. Then you will want a lil bigger boat. You may want to wait until the budget gets right and go a lil bigger. A buddy and I have fished out of a 12''er for years and years, it worked, but we both always complained about not having enough room, dunking when the other guy casted, getting wet on rough water, ect, ect. Also, a bigger boat will hold it's value alot better than a 10' j boat will. We have a 15' j. boat now and I can't tell you how happy I am with it. It's more of everything.
     
  9. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    when i first started river fishing a freind had a 10 foot jon we used to use to get across to a sandbar. we would both be in it (at the time i weighed 360lbs) along with our stuff going across swift water with a trolling motor. it was a little spooky but we managed. if its just yourself then you should be fine.
     
  10. Little Mac

    Little Mac Active Member

    Messages:
    1,828
    State:
    NW Arkansa
    I built and fished out of a 10' jon for awhile, its good on very slow current and still lakes, Big open water I stayed near the edges and did fine with it. had a 6hp motor and it would plane. But it was only for me and no one else. Easy to swamp, Bass boys would get my blood pressure up a bit when they would fly by. You cant get to crazy in one as it will flip over. I moved up to a 14' and liked it a whole lot better, Now moving up to a 16' and Believe I will like it the best. Doesnt matter what you get you will always want more. So I would save the pennies and get what you really want and can be comfortable with. Just my thoughts. Mac
     
  11. nosnag

    nosnag New Member

    Messages:
    284
    State:
    Florida
    Hey Brian,
    I have to side with the majority on this one.You are part way to having enough cash to get a larger, sturdier boat at this point.If you find that it really is too small and restricts you from fishing bigger water you will have to save what you have all over again, plus more to get a larger one.I have been there and done that.You can get a hitch extension with a tee bar to give you more room in the bed of the truck for up to a 14' boat.
    From your other posts I can tell you are the type of person that would probably soon want some company on your trips.A 10' j-boat would soon be a problem if that happened.
    This is my input on your question,but all I can really tell you aside from that is weigh the plus and minuses carefully.If you decide you still want the boat you are looking at go for it.I have seen some people very happy with their smaller boats too.Good luck to you however you decide.

    BILL
     
  12. Noodlejug

    Noodlejug New Member

    Messages:
    28
    State:
    st. louis
    Brian, I was like you wanting a boat I could throw in the back of the pickup. I was looking for 12 foot because I have a short bed. 6' 2". another 18" with the tailgate down. I found a 14' aluminum with two trollers for the right price v bottom. I put the stern in first boat upside down, gear under boat. I called the state patrol on the overhang and she said a red flag is all I needed. So I put some trailer reflective tape on the bow and a hazard triangle hanging from the bow handle. The boat rides fine but I might look into the t bar exstention rig. I can handle this boat by myself as far as loading and unloading. If you have an eight foot bed you should be good to go on 12 or 14'. Load the boat and take it for a test drive before you buy it if you can.
     
  13. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I used to borrow a friend's 10' jonboat to fish a local Fish & Game lake, but never in rough water. I was all right as long as I kept in mind where I was at, but when my dad visited me, and we both got in that boat, if we got out of sync breathing, we shipped water. Before we got 50', we went back to shore and rented a larger boat.
     
  14. photocat

    photocat New Member

    Messages:
    803
    State:
    HOCO, Maryland
    Ok to let you guys know what's happened... I bought it... Now just going through the paper work for registration and all... I did get to try it out on his pool in the backyard and it was stable enough for me to feel comfortable hauling around my fishing gear and photography equipment in atleast the smallest of the lakes i fish, possibly even the 2 other electric only lakes that i fish in. Which means as long as DNR doesn't come blazing down the lake w/ their boat, then i should be perfectly fine, photographing and fishing out of it... Definitely not taking it out on the potomac or any other large river (though i may fish from it out on the Sassafrass, don't know yet)

    I am going to go get some spray on Truck bed liner though and coat the bow end of the boat's underside with 2 or 3 coats so that its less likely to tear up the boat if i scrap against a rock that i don't see or something or if i come up slightly too fast on the ramp (i definitely wont be doing that but its a just in case) I'm also looking at possibly putting plywood across the gap between the first two seats and turning that into a casting platform for using a cast net. but i want to try it out (didn't think to make a motion like castnetting while testing it in his pool) in shallow water before i actually do it in deeper water. I may even try to figure out how to put a baitwell portion into the plywood decking as a counter balance and have it able to be hidden and stuff... I don't know yet, we'll see how it goes this spring once i start taking it out.
     
  15. nosnag

    nosnag New Member

    Messages:
    284
    State:
    Florida
    Good luck with the new boat Brian.Be sure you try the motion of casting a net while standing on a board on top of those seats before you decide on putting in a deck.Being higher than the floor compromises the stability of the vessel quite a bit.That is why the bass boats and flats boats beams are so wide.
    I would also suggest that you get a good waterproof bag like they use rafting rivers for your camera gear.A friend of mine was passing my bag to me with (2) 35mm SLR's,long and short lenses,and filters,when he slipped and deep sixed it into five foot of water.I was using one of these bags and when we retrived it everything was dry and in excellent condition.It is a great investment against Murphys' Law.
    Again good luck and keep us posted on the upgrades you do.

    BILL
     
  16. stickthrower

    stickthrower New Member

    Messages:
    313
    State:
    Possum Kingdom Lk, TX
    Just a piece of advice. Before you try casting a net, fishing platform, suggest you try it in shallow water near bank.

    ALWAYS THINK SAFETY! PLAN FOR & EXPECT THE WORST AS IT WILL HAPPEN!

    Most importantly is think safety first. If you don't, don't expect some jerk who has a blood alcohol of .30% and a big bass boat to care either! I've seen jerks through the years come by small craft wide open and laughing like maniacs.:mad:

    Planning ahead makes getting older (like me) a whole lot easier!:)

    Frank
     
  17. ears

    ears New Member

    Messages:
    55
    State:
    *Required*
    A 10 foot john is perfect for the upper potomac. I fished with a buddy for years in a 10 footer we carried it over rocks and waded a lot. Good way to fish where there isnt much pressure, rarely see anything but kayakers.

    Stay off the lower potomac though, lot of 30 footers think they need to come by real close so they can wave to you.
     
  18. oldnndway

    oldnndway New Member

    Messages:
    46
    State:
    Texas
    "problem is it won't fit in my truck's bed, "

    Photocat, I don't know what kind of truck you have but I hauled a 14ft. flatbottom around in a 1980 Ford Courier for years.
    Had a 6hp Evinrude motor that I would put in the back of it (closest to the cab) and tie it off on the other end with rope.
    Never gave me a minutes trouble (except having to drag it all out and carry it to the water then reverse process when I left)

    I also had an 8ft (maybe closer to 9') Arkansas Traveler flatbottom that I used in little farm ponds.
    It was easy to get around but it was "tippy" ...couldn't move real quick in it...never did flip it over but scared myself a bunch of times.

    If you can afford it I'd go for the longer boat...they just a lot more stable

    ...and around here you can find one for not a lot over $100.00 (well used)
     
  19. catsmith1

    catsmith1 New Member

    Messages:
    1,073
    State:
    Haughton, Louisiana
    Photocat,
    Fished alot of years in a little 10 footer. Some nights on the Ouachita River in Louisiana with 3 people, 2 icechests, 6 rods, three tackleboxes, and one person bailing at all times over a 50 ft hole. (did I forget the trolling motor battery) I would not suggest this but we acted like grown ups. Never had a problem. Wildlife and Fisheries said about 0200 one morning,"You boys must really love to fish" We grinned and kept bailing!!!!! It is amazing what yo will do when you are young.

    I have moved up a couple of times since then but I think I used to have more fun in the "HMS BATHTUB"

    From experience, I would not put a casting deck on it. Trust me when I say it will get squirrely on you.

    Above all else, have fun in YOUR new Boat dude.